Everyone has their own way of describing Jürgen Klopp but one word that features in everyone’s description is charismatic. The eccentric former Dortmund coach has an absorbing ego that has captured us all. He has lead Liverpool to a hopeful start but has his appointment been a success.
Jürgen Klopp was the successor of Brendon Rodgers. Brendon Rodgers had provided Liverpool with promise towards their glorious past years, developing the team into a force that challenged for the title, but cut to the following season and his drab interviews (at least In comparison to Klopp) had shown that he had all but given up which led to his departure. The quality of players at his disposal was never a worry but what was worrying was the decline in confidence. The rejuvenation of the team under Klopp has seen everyone play with confidence and freedom. His big smile replicates onto yours everytime he speaks in an interview and the unity he creates at the end of matches with the hug for every player shows his commitment and care for the club. The one factor that has provided him with the success is his personality. He has a way of presenting himself that is making the players want to play for him. When you compare him to Roy Hodgson for example and the record that both coaches have, you can see how having a big personality can impact a team.
Jürgen Klopps win percentage so far is 50% with 7 wins out of a possible fourteen with 5 draws and two losses. This isn’t an incredible record but it’s an improvement from that of Brendon Rodgers. What has been most impressive is the performances within some of his victories. The 3-1 win at Chelsea, the 4-1 win at Man City and the 6-1 win at Southampton. What all these performances have in common is that they were all away from Anfield.
One word that you associate with Klopps style of coaching is Geggenpressing. The German word “gegen” meaning to counter. In other words, this is the philosophy of intensely pressing a team when they are at their weakest after losing the ball. By doing this it flips defending into counter attacking rapidly. Klopp has tried to instill this type of pressing high up the field to try to force defenders into mistakes. Something that was neglected towards the ends of Rodgers tenure. This is most likely the reason for the incredible results away from home. Away from home they let the opposition take the game to them. One of the disappointments so far has been replicating these away performances at home. The obvious factor being that they are having to control the game more and counter attacking is less of an option.
Another perceivable weakness is within the Centre defensive midfield role occupied currently by Lucas Leiva. On occasion his dearth of pace and agility has been exploited after ceding possession to a mistake, resulting in possession been lost in dangerous areas.
Other than his famous Geggenpressing Klopp has provided reinvigoration to players who had gone slightly off the boil. Lovren made mistake after mistake under Rodgers, but under Klopp within a month he’s nominated for Novembers player of the month award. How is he doing this? After being recently injured in the game versus West Brom Liverpool fans are actually going to miss him. Firmino lit up the Bundesliga with his tricky dribbling and versatility along the front line, this wasn’t noticeable until the introduction of Klopp.
Overall, Klopp has been a success and although top four is still debatable, the squad has now got cohesion and personality that should make a return to the top four a possibility that will arrive sooner rather than later. They shouldn’t get carried away from the start they’ve had because when they did get carried away after the result at Southampton they were dominated in a 2-0 loss to Newcastle. Additionally, when Coutinho hasn’t been up for selection the attacking line has lacked a bit of a spark, they need to lay the burden off him and try to cater to other aspects of the teams strengths. One thing people have also overshadowed is that most managers in recent history have a great start only to let results decline, this isn’t something that should be discarded with Klopp despite his illustrious career.